Skip to main content

ASU professor publishes literary criticism

September 07, 2006


Eric Wertheimer, an associate professor of American Literature in the New College of Arts and Interdisciplinary Sciences at Arizona State University’s West campus, has authored Underwriting: the Poetics of Insurance in America, 1722-1872. Underwriting is an investigation of the cultural history of insurance in early America.

The book seeks to explore a large part of that cultural history in the lives and works of five American authors of the 18th and 19th centuries: Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Noah Webster, Herman Melville, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The work also contends that insurance, as a textual procedure requiring signatures to conserve property, is a writing business, theoretically and practically.

Wertheimer is in the process of co-editing a third book, Economic Criticism in Early American Studies. He has published articles on topics in early and nineteenth century American literature in American Literature, Early American Literature, Nineteenth Century Literature, and Arizona Quarterly. Wertheimer’s teaching and research interests encompass early and nineteenth century American literature and culture, cultural and literary theory, popular political discourses, new media, and poetry.